The precordial catch syndrome is an easily diagnosed, exceedingly common cause of benign chest pain, yet it is underrecognized.
In publishing this section in Southern Medical Journal, the Southern Medical Association recognizes educational needs of physicians in all specialties, especially those in primary care, for current information regarding the diagnosis and treatment of precordial catch syndrome.
Abstract: The precordial catch syndrome is frequently mentioned as part of a long differential diagnosis of chest pain in children.
The precordial catch syndrome is an exceedingly common yet underrecognized cause of benign chest pain in children and adolescents.
The syndrome was first described and graphically termed precordial catch by Miller and Texidor in 1955.
Often, these studies tabulate the causes of the complaint in their series of patients, usually including precordial catch syndrome under a category of idiopathic, functional, or miscellaneous causes.
The features of precordial catch syndrome (Table 1) are consistent and characteristic.
There is a striking paucity of associated symptoms with precordial catch syndrome.
Results of physical examination, during both the painful episode and subsequent evaluation, are usually negative, although it should be mentioned that the presence of cardiac or pulmonary abnormality does not preclude the occurrence of precordial catch syndrome.
The painful sensation that constitutes the precordial catch syndrome is neither imaginary nor conversional.
Viral pleuritis or pleurodynia may produce sharp chest pain similar in character to precordial catch syndrome, but it is usually associated with fever and cough, and is generally unrelenting.
Chest wall syndrome (22) and chest trauma, including rib fractures, can produce pain very similar to precordial catch syndrome.